Visitor Comments and Letters
September '98

These messages have been edited. Although I feel the content is of interest, I want to provide as much privacy as possible to the various people who have taken time to comment. Let me know if you feel this is an interesting page. KJ


Date: September 1, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Gil Sperry
Subject: Links

Just noticed that you are not linked on our site...this is ridiculous, you are one of the true "Friends of PESCA"...please have your webmaster link up with ours, immediately, or sooner.

Sincerely,
Gil

Hi Gil,

The link is on its way.

Also thought I might mention that I am adding the fish species that were discussed in the e-mail letters to our list, as well as including the scientific names. However, a couple of the fish which were named seemed iffy to me. (1) Example: I did not originally include tuna since they are generally considered to be oceanic species -- fish rarely taken from shore. Are some caught from the shoreline (perhaps Australia)? (2) And saltwater sturgeon (?) -- I'm not familiar with the species. (3) Perhaps a few selected anglers from each continent or (in the case of the U.S.) different coastal areas should propose species for inclusion and then a committee (you and Jeff) make the final decision. Fish likely to be caught from shoreline areas should be included but the list may become truly huge. It might also be advantageous to list species by geographic areas. That way there would be more local recognition of their common names. (4) It might even make sense to have continent contests instead of a world-wide contest. That way an angler who lands a 30-pound yellowtail from the shoreline/pier is California (a big fish) would not be at an unfair advantage against an angler in New Zealand who lands a 60-pound yellowtail. There also would be more winners each year if the contest were localized -- but also more work! But, it is just a thought. (5) Lastly, what would you like to see on a revised PESCA Page? I know you want mention of Cabela's catalogue/phone number but what other specific things do you want mentioned?

Best wishes, Ken

Happy Holiday, Ken...

In answer to your questions -- (1) Australia and South Africa, from articles we have. (2) Neither are we. (3) I agree. The object is to get started and have the ability to add as people get the hang of it. What I would like you to do, if it is not too time consuming, is send me one copy of your "semi-final" draft (with input you have already received from responding members addressed) which I will copy and send to selected members around the world for final input. This will probably "put off" the mailing to the general membership until the fourth quarter newsletter. Let's (at least attempt to) get it "right" (from as many points of view as we can accommodate) the first time, while we also attempt to apply the "KISS" Principle. (4) Your thoughts are usually "right on". (5) Trust I did above...this is what I want to get done first...you have been a major supporter of PESCA and we have attempted to be the same for "Pier Fishing in California"...the reciprocal links and the proper info will be a great start. Thanks, also, for your help with the San Diego Area Local Chapter Newsletter...I speak to this group this Thursday night.

Best wishes my friend.

Sincerely,
Gil


Date: September 1, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Gil Sperry
Subject: PESCA Message Board

If you get a moment today, there is a member by the name of PK (Felix) who is desires some information about Central Coast fishing (surf and, your specialty, PIERS). If you get a chance and could respond to him, I think it would be great...also encourage him, with my blessings, to visit your site. He recently asked questions about the Cayucos Pier and I responded with information credited to your book (pages 108-109). Words directly from the source might really help.

Sincerely,
Gil

Gil,

I've contacted Felix.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: September 1, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Chris
Subject: Hello!

HELLO.

I went to Half Moon Bay two days ago and caught some kingfish but all were small. I saw a person catch a 10-inch rockfish or rockcod; it's kind of interesting that there is rockfish there. It was caught near the rocks.

Chris

Chris,

Thanks for the report,

Ken


Date: September 2, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Steve Buckles
Subject: fishing cart

Please check out www.thegilligan.com for an awesome surf and pier fishing cart.

Thanks,

Steve Buckles


Date: September 3, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Cary
Subject: Oyster Point

Ken,

Hey Ken just got back from Oyster Point Pier. I only got to stay for about an hour and a half, then about 11:45 PM the harbor master started kicking everybody out. The local Pier Rats were catching live anchovies, and mud suckers with a net, and using that for bait. They also took complete control of the end of the pier, so I couldn't wet a line down there, but the ones who did, were catching smelt, and pan size, and up to legal limit 18" stripers. As for myself, I got stuck at the end of the pier catching nothing. O well, maybe next time huh. You have a great week, and good luck to you if you do any fishing.

Cary
reporting for Oyster Point

Ps. on my way home, I swung by the San Mateo pier, but it's still closed. I guess it was just wishful thinking, that maybe it would open before November.

Just FYI

Hi Cary,

Thanks for the information on Oyster Point. It really ticks me off when anglers do not open up a pier to newcomers but I know it is a pretty small pier.

I also agree with you -- hope San Mateo opens in November.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: September 4, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Mark
Subject: Subject: "newbie" to the fishing world

Hello...my name is Mark and I just recently went fishing with a friend of mine. He goes fishing at the Old Ferry Landing here in San Diego. It's a beautiful place to fish and that day I came home that day with a 23 inch halibut and have been going back ever since. My only problem is, I'm really new to all this and as far as setting up my own fishing poles, I have my friend do it for me. I want to become more independent and enjoy the "art" of fixing my own line. If you know any sites or have a site yourself you can give me on tips on how to tie hooks and sinkers, I would really appreciate it.
Thank you...Mark

Hi Ramiro,

Your questions are a little hard to answer because hooks, line, etc. all depend upon the kinds of fish you are seeking and the conditions you are fishing. As a general rule, I use fairly small hooks (size 6-2) and fairly small pieces of bait. It depends upon the type of fish you are catching. The same with floats -- you really don't need them most of the time but they sometimes work great on fish like mackerel. The best teacher is one of the regulars at the pier and I have found that most regulars are very happy to answer questions and show you what to do if you ask them. If they aren't helpful (and I will be very surprised if they aren't) then check out my book at a library or see my merchandise page. I try to give some tips each month on my pier page but the book has much, much more information.

Also remember that it takes time to become good at almost anything. When I began to learn to fish at Newport Pier it took me several months to begin to understand the basics needed to become proficient.

Best of luck and let me now how you do, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


The following is from an excellent Bay Area fishing message board and used with their permission. If you have questions about joining the group just send a note to Steve Lau who runs the site and the message board: the_FishMaster@juno.com

Date: September 6, 1998
To: sf_saltwater_fishing@lists.best.com
From: Casey
Subject: Perch and flounder fishing

Hello, I am new to this and would like to ask you to please send me some information on how and where to fish for perch and flounder in the San Francisco Bay area.

Thanks for your help, Chris

From: Dave P

I too would like some info on this such as where to fish, what bait is working, rigs etc....

Dave

Chris asked about perch and flounder fishing! My recommendations are to try the piers of the Bay Area.

Many of the piers are excellent for perch but the following have proved most productive for me. Fort Baker Pier -- black seaperch, white seaperch, walleye surfperch and lesser numbers of rubberlip seaperch, silver surfperch, rainbow seaperch and striped seaperch. Elephant Rock Pier (when open) -- good for black seaperch, rubberlip seaperch, walleye and silver surfperch, and a few white seaperch. Fort Point Pier -- can be very good for black seaperch, some rainbow seaperch, small striped seaperch, white seaperch and walleye/silver surfperch. Muni Pier -- at times good for almost all of these species. Other piers -- generally most piers close to the Gate are good for perch; the farther away from the Gate the less perch, although it depends on the time of the year. Generally late winter and spring is the prime time for many of these species but as the bay becomes saltier later in the year, piers farther from the Gate will also produce some perch. Large pileperch are available at many piers including piers in the East Bay and in San Pablo Bay. November through March is usually the best time for these large perch. Best bait depends on the location and natural food but pile worms are almost always productive as are small ghost shrimp, tube worms (if you can find them), fresh mussels (especially at piers near the Gate), and grass shrimp (especially in San Pablo Bay). Make sure the pier you are fishing has some mussel or barnacle growth on the pilings if you're looking for perch and a good attractant is to break up some mussels or barnacles and then drop some of the pieces into the water as chum. Remember to keep the hook size small -- 8-4, and fish straight down around the pilings or under the pier.

As for flounder, their numbers are down but many piers see some of the flatfish every year, especially in the late winter to spring months. Most North Bay piers and San Pablo Bay piers will see some flounder as will Berkeley Pier and other East Bay Piers. Candlestick Point Pier used to be known for flounder but has not been as good in recent years. Best bait -- grass shrimp or cut anchovies fished on a sliding leader on the bottom.

Lastly, Pacifica Pier can be EXCELLENT at times for almost all surfperch. It is one of the few places where you can catch the large barred, redtail and calico surfperch all from the same spot. Winter months between the storms are the best time for the large surfperch, summertime can be excellent for smaller walleye, silver and spotfin surfperch. Best bait -- strips of pile worm, pieces of anchovy, or small pieces of shrimp.

Best wishes and hope you try some piers, Ken Jones


Date: September 7, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: George H
Subject: Pier fishing

Hi.

My name is George H, and I live in Phoenix. I am a salt water fanatic (used to be) and I was brought up on Jamaica Bay, NY (Next to Kennedy Airport).

I am expecting to be able to come to California in November, (early part) Is there anything worthwhile at that time of the year.

Thank you and tight lines,

George H

Hi George,

What part of California are you going to be visiting? There are tremendous differences between southern, central and northern California fishing at that time of the year. Let me know and I'll try to answer your question.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Hi Ken.

I believe I will be fishing in early November. I still do not know what part of Cal. however, if you could give me your recommendations in declining order I would appreciate it very much.

Thanks, George

PS. How do I order one of your books. It will round out my collection.

Hi George,

Usually by November the weather has changed in central and northern California so it is an iffy proposition for pier fishing. However, I will give you some ideas. (1) Winter months are usually the best time to catch barred surfperch with a number of southern and central California piers usually being good. Try Oceanside, San Clemente, Huntington Beach or Ventura in southern California. In central California try Pismo Beach, Cayucos or San Simeon -- but be aware that there may be more storm activity. Pacifica, up near San Francisco, will sometimes yield big barred surfperch, calico surfperch and redtail surfperch all on the same day -- between storms -- and crabbing is often good. (2) For something different try the bonito fishing in Redondo harbor. Many years the warm water in the harbor provides the best fishing for the boneheads in the entire state. (3) Some years will also see some good fishing for striped bass through November at Bay Area piers and I think this may be one of those years. There's also a chance to catch a sturgeon at some piers in the bay, and winter months are the best time to catch big pileperch at Bay Area piers although November is still a little early. You're taking a risk on northern California piers because of the weather conditions.

As for the book, the price I offer on the site is the cheapest I think you will see since it already includes postage and tax -- and you will get an autographed copy. See the merchandise page.

Hope that helps and hope you give our piers a try.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: September 7, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Raul
Subject: Good job

Very good web page. Keep up the good job!

Raul

Hi Raul,

Thanks for your kind comments and I'll keep trying.

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: September 8, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Robert M
Subject: cuda's...

Great fish of the month! I've never caught them from the pier but have caught them from cattle boats. They put up a good fight. I just want to know if it's safe to eat pacific cuda's. I read an article about East Coast cuda's being contaminated with toxic bacteria from the other fish they eat that was originally contaminated. The bacteria comes from reefs that certain fish hang around in. I have eaten it once (cut into steaks and then pan fried, it was good). But this was before I read the article. It seems the cattle boats aren't too worried about it because they let the herd keep their catches. I'm talking about southern Cal landings like Newport Landing, Daveys Locker, or Seal Beach Sportfishing to name a few I've been in. I just want to know what your thoughts are about this. Thanks for your time and keep up the great work!

Hi Robert,

Not to worry, the fish out here are safe to eat. The bigger problem here is keeping the flesh in top condition. The meat softens quickly (especially when in a gunnysack on a hot day), and the resulting fillets/steaks are far inferior from properly cared for flesh. If possible, clean it shortly after catching it and ice it down. However, I know that it is almost impossible to do that on a partyboat.

Barries aren't as common to piers as boats but these next couple of months are the prime time for pier-caught barracuda.

Good luck and catch a big one, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Ken,

Thanks for your input.


Date: September 8, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Jim
Subject: Site

Cool Site. I love your book.

Jim

Jim,

Thanks for your kind comments. Hope to keep the site looking good and hope the second book is even better.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: September 9, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Smitty
Subject: Bait?

Hey Ken

So when these guys are saying they used anchovies at Fort Baker Pier or Paradise Pier are they talkin' live or frozen baits? I am an old pier fisherman too but did all my fishing in So. Cal in the 70's at Redondo and Seal Beach for those bone heads (a lot of fun and good memories) now I am up here in No. Cal a little different fishing tech but I think I'll get the hang of it. Thanks for the great reports,
Smitty

Hi Smitty,

In both cases I'm pretty sure they are using frozen anchovies. However live anchovies will work better if you can find them.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


(This message is also taken from the message board mentioned above.)

Date: September 11, 1998
To: sf_saltwater_fishing@lists.best.com
From: Ed
Subject: Mudsuckers

In the past couple of years finding these wonderful bait fish has been a task. Has anyone had any success catching mudsuckers around the bay or any where else? If so, where and when?

Ed,

The longjaw mudsucker or longjaw goby, take your pick of names, is naturally found from Tomales Bay to the Gulf of California. In the sixties, I fished with them often when I lived in San Diego, and they're still a favorite bait in San Diego Bay depending upon the species of fish being sought by fisherman and/or when anchovies are not available.

When I moved to the Bay Area in the '70s, I found that mudsuckers were fairly common at many piers including some in San Francisco and the South Bay as well as some in San Pablo Bay. To catch them required a small hook and typically they were in the inshore, shallow-water areas -- especially in mud-flat type environments.

In the past few years I've rarely seen them caught at a pier. However, I've seen two other fairly common goby species that are alien to the area -- yellowfin gobies and chameleon gobies. Both of these come from Asian waters and apparently were brought in by ballast from ships. I've caught several chameleon goby -- a tiny goby usually only a few inches long -- while fishing with pile worms for perch at piers in the Oakland estuary. I've also caught several yellowfin goby from piers on the San Francisco waterfront and the Oakland estuary. Although the yellowfin get up to around nine inches long and are usually too big to use for effective bait, the chameleons are almost all small and probably would make excellent bait (although I've never tried them).

I'm not sure if these exotic gobies crowded out the local longjaw mudsuckers (as Phytoplankton believes) but it sure seems a logical conclusion. There definitely seem to be fewer of the mudsuckers, at least those that are taken from piers. However, it is still possible to catch the little critters from areas like China Camp in San Pablo Bay, Point Pinole, and up towards Vallejo.

Ken Jones


Date: September 13, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Tony G
Subject: New East Bay Striper Hotspot?

Ken,

Let me start by thanking you for your fantastic California pier fishing report! It's great to be able to log on to the net and be able to plan each fishing trip with the click of a mouse button.

Hopefully, I can repay you by filling you in on some info that you may or may not already know. I read in your book about the two pier located in San Leandro Bay (Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline). In it you mentioned that the fishing there was slow and inconsistent, at best. Well, I think that may rapidly change.

I was there last evening and witnessed something that I have not seen there before (the last time I visited the area was almost a year ago). The East Bay Regional Park District has finally completed the restoration of the wetlands at Arrowhead Marsh. At high tides the newly restored marsh floods with water from the bay. Just after the turn of the tide, all that water drains out again through a tiny (15-20 ft) channel next to one of the two pier there.

Along with the rushing water, hundreds of tiny bait fish schools are flushed into the Oakland Estuary. Waiting for those bait fish are marauding schools of hungry striped bass.

Too bad I didn't bring my rod with me last night as the water just EXPLODED with hundred of tiny fish skipping across the surface and dozens of stripers jumping after them. It was enough to nearly send me into the water after them.

An elderly gentleman I met there said that since the new channel into marsh was opened up, scenes like that were becoming more and more common. I hope he's right! If the stripers keep making that kind of a showing each season, that tiny little wooden deck next to the channel could become a top-notch California pier!

Well, Ken, thanks again for your excellent fishing site. I hope to see you soon at the MLK pier! (Actually, I hope to see the stripers at the end of my line!!!)

Tony

Tony,

Thanks for the great information. I've always liked that area and those piers but I never did very good on the fishing there. Perhaps my luck will change. I will be down there next weekend so maybe I'll have a chance to try them out.

Best wishes, Ken Jones

Ken,

If you do go, I have two quick tips for you. First of all, the striper showed-up after the turn of the tide. I was there Saturday night (9/12). I don't know what the time for high tide was that night, but
the water started to rush out of the marsh at about 7:00 PM. By 8:00 PM the water was gushing out at full force, and the striper were in a frenzy.

Secondly, though I haven't tried it there yet, there's a little trick that I use at the Brisbane tubes that may work here. What I have found to be a productive technique for rushing channels where you have a bridge is using small diving lures (small Rapalas & Rebels work well as do Rat-L-Traps). The trick is to get out onto the bridge and cast or drop your lure into the middle of the current. Let the water carry the lure out. Slowly feed out line until the tension eases-up to the point were you can just feel the action of the lure vibrating the line. Then, well, that's it! You don't retrieve the lure, you just put your rod against the rail of the bridge and let the current work the lure! It's almost like trolling from shore combine will the relaxation & ease of bait fishing! I've used this technique at the Brisbane Tubes and several other similar channel-fed marsh areas in the bay and have had great success with it.

PS. - Licenses are still require to fish off the piers at MKL Shoreline.

Good Luck and Good Fishing!
Tony

Tony,

Thanks again for the information.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: September 15, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Chris
Subject: Pier 7

Hey Ken Jones,

I went to Pier 7 and people and fishermen were talking about the salmon and halibut landed there on Saturday. So, I went on Sunday at 6 in the morning. The tide was moving. I'm just a kid in middle school who fishes on piers with friends. One fishermen caught a fat striper 22 in long. I caught half a bucket of 2-8 inch sardines and some 2 inch anchovies. On Saturday the fishermen said that there were anchovies and sardines and the ones I caught were much bigger. On my large rod I had something but my 30lb. line snapped.

Hi Chris,

Sounds like you had some action. Bet the big fish you hooked was a shark or ray.

I went down there last weekend myself and saw several nice-sized leopard sharks and a number of school-sized striped bass. Unfortunately I didn't catch any of them but I hope to go back soon.

Best wishes and good fishing -- and thanks for the report. Let me know how you do.

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: September 15, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: BomberMom
Subject: Newport Pier

Hey Ken, how are you? I went fishing on Newport Pier today. I got there at 5 a.m. and there were already about 20 people on the end. It was weird fishing in the dark. I fished till 11:30 and I caught 51 mackerel!!! I was not the only one hauling them in either. Lots were being caught by everyone. I also got 3 smelt too. It was a bit windy so the lines were going sideways and got easily tangled. All in all a good day for the macs. See ya, Trudy

Hi Trudy,

Sounds like there was a mac attack going on. Glad to hear you had a good time at the pier and got some fish. Did you ever find a club? Continued good fishing and best wishes.

Thanks for the report, Ken

PS, Did you see the Pier of the Month for September?


Date: September 16, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: George H
Subject: PESCA

Ken:

Please send me an application for PESCA. It sounds like a good idea.

Thanks again

George H

Will do!


Date: September 16, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Felix
Subject: Hey Ken.... how about a message board??? ( sorry this wasn't meant to be a long letter )

I visit your site very often and re-read most everything concerning the Cayucos, Pismo, Morro, Avila and Port San Luis piers. I've lately been getting a lot of info and giving shore reports on the PESCA message boards. I think it would be a great addition to your site, to have a message board. I would contribute greatly to asking and answering questions as well as giving the Morro bay shore reports....

Thanx for your time.

FELIX

P.S. Do you do know about the Unocal cleanup starting in Avila this month right? I'm not sure how the fishing will be affected but I do know that they are going to tear apart the foot of the pier soon. Personally I won't be fishing there. Something about fuel and fish that doesn't settle with me.

******MORRO BAY SHORE REPORT******

I woke up early for once a couple weeks ago and decided to practice using plastic grubs with my new spinning set up off the North side of Morro Rock. I wasn't catching anything but I noticed a guy pulling in some pretty big fish right under the rock. I hiked over to him and after a 10 minute conversation with him I found out he was from Fresno and fished the North side every time he came out. He used live anchovies and was catching undersized white seabass (20- 24 inches). Everything was thrown back. Just as I was getting ready to leave and continue my quest for my first perch, he caught a 30 inch striped bass. Inspired by this and remembering my freshwater bass days as a kid, I drove up to Virgs and yelled "WHAT ARE YOUR BEST WHITE BASS AND STRIPER LURES?".. Fifteen dollars for two lure and no fish. During the course of the day, a few more people caught 20-30 inch stripers off live anchovies. I went back the next day and the following weekend. I only caught one white seabass 20 inches (thrown back). Once the bait died we moved farther up the rock and had a great time fighting big shovelnose guitarfish and skates. Other things caught: big jacksmelt off cut bait, a 21" cabezon off a whole dead anchovy, a sea turtle that broke free just as we were about to release him, a couple seagulls (unharmed) and a sea slug. I have found a wonderful place to fish that can't always promise something for dinner but can promise a good time fighting shovelnose without having to pull them up from a pier. Plus a pod of dolphins has made an appearance every time we go out.

Sorry for the long winded letter and report. I can't sleep and had to take it out on someone. HAHA. Even though I'm having a good time fighting 3' 1/2 foot shovelnose (got to be at least 30 lbs) with 15 lb test, I'm still dying to catch some Perch. I had no luck at Cayucos on two separate occasions with blood worms and mussels, but I did meet Lorna and she gave me a free key chain for mentioning your site. Any hot spots this month for big Perch off the central coast before the October reports come out... ?

Hi Felix,

Actually I'm working on some changes to the site and it will soon include a message board.

I know about the cleanup of Avila and have been waiting to hear if the pier is going to stay open. I would appreciate any information you could send along.

Thanks for the note. How have you been doing on your pier trips? Always looking for new reports and new reporters.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: September 17, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: RUrabe
Subject: fishing report for Seacliff state beach pier..in Santa Cruz

My father fishes Seacliff once a week...and tells me how's it going...he's computer illiterate so I'm mailing you this report...I was at Seacliff last week...and it was OK...I saw 4 stripers come up...two were keepers... caught my keeper on a live smelt...regulars at the pier say...the striper fishing has slowed down...but a few still come up ..bout 4-6 a day...some keeper some not....last week a regular told me that he caught a 30-LB striper...and his son caught 20-LB but lost it as he was bringing it up..

Hi (RUrabe?),

Thanks for the report! I've been looking for a reporter for the pier and would appreciate any news you can send me.

Sounds like the striper bite there has been good which has kind of been the story along the coast. In fact, the best striper bite in years.

Unfortunately I did not get down to fish Seacliff this summer -- although I usually do. Perhaps I can make it down next month but I imagine most of the stripers will be gone by then. My luck!

Thanks again for the information and best wishes,

Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: September 19, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Audrey
Subject: Huntington Beach Fishing so far

Ken,

As of a couple weeks ago, there are more smaller fish, a few days there were a huge abundance of huge mackerel around, biting anything. More fish are coming around, like spot fin croakers, perch, etc. Halibut are still undersized so far. Mussels and mackerel fillets seem to be the bait of choice these days.

Audrey

Audrey,

Thanks for the report. Up here things are slow at Pacifica but lots of nice fish are being caught at Pier 7 in the City.

Ken,

Wow! Pier 7 is hardly a pier, I'm surprised they're catching anything more than small croakers and the usual little guys. I wonder what the underwater landscape is around there...

Audrey


Date: September 20, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Pillar Point Pier

Hey Ken,

Visited Pillar Point the other day and boy is it slow! I fished for about 4 hours and only managed to pull in two fish! Something wasn't right. only two other people caught one fish. There were also no crabs either. 2 two inch Dungeness crabs were caught and kept by some Asian ladies. I don't know what's going on with this place. Normally, you can do pretty good here. Oh well, I did get some really nice bites. Talk with you later.

Matt
PS.- By the way, do you know if the salmon are still going to hang around Pacifica?

Hi Matt,

Seems things are slow at Pacifica but hear Oyster Point has been good and Pier 7 in the City is hot right now.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: September 20, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Andrew K
Subject: Join Pesca

Please send info re. membership...thanks.

From: GENIE I
Subject: Join PESCA

Please send me an application to join PESCA.

From: Richard F
Subject: Join PESCA

Please send info. on PESCA.

Be glad to send you the applications but I need your snail-mail addresses.

Thanks, Ken


Date: September 21, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Huy N -- Long Beach
Subject: Please teach me how to fish!!!!

Dear Ken,

My buddies and I have recently taken up pier fishing. However after several trips, we still have had no luck catching one. I would really appreciate it if you would give us a few beginner tips on how to fish, the techniques, proper equipment, etc. on how to actually hook a fish. Thanks a lot for your help.

Hi Huy,

What piers do you fish? I see you're at Long Beach, have you tried the Belmont Pier, Seal Beach or the small finger piers by the downtown marina? Tell me where you want to try and I'll try to give you some information.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: September 21, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Chris
Subject: Pier 7

I went on Sunday and my friend caught a striper and I caught a halibut, that got loose. I was mad. There was lots of stripers and there were 20 caught off the pier and I saw three leopard sharks ranging from 2 feet. I caught 10 jacksmelt.

bye


Date: September 22, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Matt S
Subject: Pacifica

Thanks for the advice Ken, I think I will try it this weekend if I don't have too much damn homework. I have been jinxed with homework the last few days. By the way, I haven't got the pictures just yet but Ill send a response when I do.

Matt
PS.- You'll probably get a report from me soon. I am going try to hit Fort Point soon.

Hi Matt,

Haven't heard any reports about Pacifica. You might want to try down at Pier 7; people seem to be catching a lot of good sized leopard sharks and striped bass, and fewer numbers of halibut and salmon.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: September 22, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Felix
Subject: Changes

Hey Ken..

I would be happy to provide you additional info on Morro T pier ( since no one else is giving you info ). I don't normally fish there but will just because I love your site and I'm in the area. I walked the pier for about 30 minutes with a grub with no results this weekend. But then again I had very little luck at all everywhere, I'm thinking it's because I fished too late after hi - tide. This weekend the low tide favors more around my late sleeping schedule so I should be fishing within minutes after low tide (that's around 8 am). I'm still learning the best times and the best tides to fish from. So far I've had tremendous luck fishing from the rocks within the first two hours after the morning low tide. Any insight on this would be very helpful.

Anyway, I'm going to be hitting Pismo and Cayucos on Friday and Saturday mornings within the first couple hours after low tide for Perch. I'm going to be using motor oil colored grubs (which I'm finally catching fish with). Since both piers will take me threw Morro bay on the way home, I'll stop for thirty minutes and fish around the T pier. I'll let you know how things go.

Any word on Big Perch on the central coast yet? I'll keep an ear out about the Avila Pier for you. I know they are going to be tearing the foot of one of the piers out sometime soon. I'll do the research and get you specifics.. By the way, I'm going to send you a check soon for your book.

Looking forwards to the Message Board!!!!

Thanks Felix,

Sounds like you're one of the regulars down there. I haven't heard any word on the big perch yet although I have gotten some reports of good action at San Simeon for anglers who know what they are doing.

Best wishes and thanks, Ken


Date: September 27, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: pierangler@juno.com Mark Grim
Subject: Monthly Report

Hi Ken,

Here are my fishing reports for this month.

ANTIOCH BRIDGE PIER

Many black bass are being taken recently here. Anglers using blood worms or anchovies are pulling in several bass a day. Some stripers are being caught but most are small and anglers are forced to "wade" through all of the undersized ones and wait for the big one to bite. The stripers appear to be larger this month than last. The stripers are biting on anchovies, shad, and sardines.

CITY OF ANTIOCH PIER

Catfish and black bass have been very active at this pier lately. Try using blood worms or anchovies. The striped bass are not biting here this month.

CITY OF PITTSBURG PIER

The salmon are biting at this pier. Many have been taken lately by using artificial lures. Best bets are Blue Fox and Mepps #5. Some fishermen have some luck using a bobber with a whole anchovy dangling a few feet below it. Some rather large catfish are also being taken here.

BENECIA 9TH STREET PIER

Salmon have been taken here recently. Try using Blue Fox or Mepps #5 lures. Some large striped bass have been biting lately also. Blood worms and live bullheads have worked well for the stripers at this pier. Many anglers trying for sturgeon here with grass shrimp for bait have landed some good sized striped bass.

Mark,

Thanks again for the reports.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: September 27, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Mike C
Subject: report

Been fishing both Pepper Park in National City and the Bayshore Park Pier in Chula Vista. Pretty slow -- a couple of mackerel and small bass -- not worth the trip. Been fishing the end of the South Mission Beach Jetty and lots of action with mackerel and some bass using a silver Kastmaster. Thought you might want to know.

MIKE

Mike,

Thanks very much for the report. Sounds like those two piers have been pretty slow -- which I think is fairly typical. Have you tried the action at the Embarcadero Pier or at the Ferry Landing Pier? Also, I hear they're catching some yellowtail from the Ocean Beach Pier.

Best wishes and thanks once again, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: September 27, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Joseph R
Subject: membership info

My son and I would like information and an application to join PESCA.

Thank You,

Joe R

Hi Joe,

Be glad to send along an application but I need your snail-mail address.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: September 27, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Josh W
Subject: report

Dear Mr Jones

Here is a report for Redondo Beach Pier for October:

The pier is doing very good on mackerel right now. If you go early in the morning you will catch about 50 or so of these little guys. They are always biting in the morning on anything and they really love frozen shrimp, raw on the shell. The smelt and sardines are falling to small bait rigs with cut up frozen squid .The flounder and halibut are starting to come in and are biting on live sardines so get out the bait nets and catch the little guys. All kinds of perch are biting right now but not a lot of hook ups. No sand sharks or rays showing up .The bonito are starting to bite but they are really hard to catch. If you want to catch one, catch a live sardine and float it under a red & white bobber in the morning. Always check your bait every 30 seconds. If the bobber goes down fast then it is a bonito and if it goes down just a little fast then it is a mackerel

I hope this report can be used

PS if it is really good can you send me a free book?

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the report. Glad to hear that the action has been good. By the way, when you say flounder are you talking about a type of sole -- or maybe sanddabs? I'd be interested in knowing what the "flounder" are since you usually don't see starry flounder that far south.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman

Mr. Jones,

Sanddabs I think, or they can be halibut ,but I think that they are sanddabs.


Date: September 28, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Nicole
Subject: How may fishing poles can a person use off a public pier?

Hi Nicole,

Most public piers limit you to two poles -- which of course should be enough. Try one on the bottom and use the other to fish for top-water species.

Best wishes, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman


Date: September 28, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Zorro
Subject: Gaviota

Fished Gaviota on the 19th and the 25th this month

The Pier is still half closed, no camping and porta potties only.

On the 19th the water was a clear green. It was big jack smelt day at the pier. The first one I hooked made me think I had nailed a Bonito or Barracuda on the chromed torpedo sinker. Lots of fight and then I hauled up a foot and a half long jack smelt. It was like that all day a big smelt every 20 or 30 minutes. No bottom fish except one round ray and no mackerel or anything else, just smelt. Also there were few small fish.

The 25th was a miserable fishing day. The wind was quite strong and there were few fishermen. Only caught a smelt and a mackerel. Other fishers caught the same a few smelt and mackerel.

The water seems to be going through the fall clearing now, so the winter fishing pattern of surf perch and smelt is going to start soon.

Also the yellow jackets are back like last year so bring a fly swatter.

Hi Zoy,

Thanks for the report. Sorry to hear about the yellow jackets; that's always been something I didn't like at the pier.

Best wishes, Ken


Date: September 29, 1998
To: Chris
From: Ken Jones
Subject: Pier 7

Chris,

Are you still catching the fish?

Best wishes, Ken

Hello,

I went back on Friday to Pier 7 to catch the 5-lb. halibut that fell off my hook last week. I'm still catching plenty of fish but when I went on Friday at 7 p.m. I hooked two sharks that broke my rigs. I fished for two hours before I left and then came back at 10 p.m. and fished until 12:45 p.m. I caught a jacksmelt. My friend caught two sharks too and another person caught a shark with two good size kingfish. Did you catch any fish?

Hi Chris,

All I caught were some perch, kingfish and rockfish -- although I saw some big leopard sharks caught and some striped bass. Hope to get back there soon.

Best wishes and good fishing, Ken Jones,The Pier Fisherman


Date: September 30, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Mike Katz (Stearns Wharf -- Santa Barbara)
Subject: Over-fishing

Had a visit from the Game Warden. They are getting very upset because the mackerel are running thick and fast and my wharf is jammed every day with groups of people who are taking as many a four and five five-gallon buckets per day filled to the brim. I mean each and every person and there are at least twenty of them every day. Fish and Game know they are smoking and selling the fish but can't prove it.

Mike

Hi Mike,

Doesn't sound good! Are your regulars catching anything else besides mackerel?

Best wishes, Ken

Ken,

Nothing new. My regulars are trying for halibut and an occasional short comes up but the mackerel are just too easy to catch and too tempting not to fight. Some are running 1-1/2 to two pounds.

Mike


Date: September 30, 1998
To: Ken Jones
From: Tim A
Subject: Pier fishing the Florida Panhandle - Getting started..

Ken, I realize you are in California, but you seem to have the most info on pier fishing. My wife and I are moving to the Destin/Ft. Walton Beach area in the Florida panhandle. I plan to buy a boat in the next year or two, but would like to learn about fishing from the piers. A couple of questions.... 1) do you know of any pier fishing home pages that cover the Fl. panhandle, and 2) I am just getting started, so, what type of gear would you recommend? I don't want to spend a fortune, but I don't mind spending $200-$300. Thanks for your time.

Tim A

Hi Tim,

I don't have any specific answers on Florida piers but would simply suggest you do some web surfin' on Florida piers or Florida fishing. I know there are many sites and it's kind of fun to see all the different opportunities. A couple of years ago (when I started this site) I surfed the net and saw a lot of Florida sites but unfortunately I didn't save them. Next to California, and possibly North Carolina, Florida probably has the most fishing piers of any state.

As for gear, keep it simple. There are some bigger fish common to Florida piers (like king mackerel, channel bass and cobia) but for many species a light action 7-foot rod with a small saltwater spinning reel will work fine. If you're going after the bigger species you may need a medium spinning rod with a heavier saltwater reel but again, keep it simple. I use Penn reels because I have found them to be reliable, of sturdy construction and fairly simple but any good quality reel should work! Just keep it clean and oiled -- and don't let sand get into your reel. A good rod and reel combination for piers really shouldn't cost you more than $125-$175 and often it is much less than even that.

I do recommend you find a good bait and tackle shop in the area you will be living/fishing and get to know the people. They usually have the local know-how to make the best recommendations and MOST are honest in their advice. Again though, my advice is to keep your tackle simple. A few years ago I went fishing in Biloxi, Mississippi while on a vacation and caught many, many fish -- more than most of the locals on the piers the days I fished. The only difference I could see was that I tended to fish with lighter tackle and less hardware on my line than the locals. I've also seen some fairly heavy and complicated riggings on piers in North Carolina and Maryland. There might be a local reason for such riggings but often times I think when people envision saltwater they feel that they need really heavy and complicated gear -- which usually isn't the case. Again, check with the locals but keep it simple.

Hope you give piers a shot and I'd be interested in knowing how you do,

Best wishes and good fishing, Ken Jones, The Pier Fisherman